Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: June 21st-27th Edition

Well, I at least got three posts out this week even if my monthly webcomic review (of Skin Deep) was so delayed that it pushed back Death Sworn but considering how little I enjoyed DS that wasn't exactly the best motivation to finish that review anyway. I did really enjoy Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta so I hope that helped convince some people to check it out and I just launched my summer co-column series over on OASG with fellow writer Muse, Shoujo You Should Know. We talked about Wish for our first installment and it had a late-breaking update that apparently Wish was originally based on a JoJo's Bizarre Adventures doujinshi that CLAMP once did which was the most bizarre comment I never even expected. Sure I knew they had done doujinshi in the past but this was still totally out of left-field to me. 

Speaking of SYSK, I've already gotten one of two comments along the lines of "why are you even focusing on older stuff again, hasn't everyone already done this?" and FUNNY YOU SHOULD MENTION THAT. I did actually put a lot of thought into this column (it's more my idea than Muse's) so here's all of my rational below the fold:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review: Death Sworn

"Helen didn't you say that you weren't reading any more books about assassins?" I did but wanted to make an exception here since this book is by an author who I've both loved and disliked and really wanted to read another book by her to try and figure out if I should keep up with her works or not. Plus, the main character in this book, she's a mage losing her powers which sounded like a really cool premise and I'm willing to overlook a couple of personal biases for that.

Death Sworn by Leah Cypress

Friday, June 26, 2015

Webcomic Review: Skin Deep

There are only a handful of webcomics that I tried out nearly six years ago when I got into the medium that I'm still following now, both due to me becoming bored of them and due to the comics actually finishing. Skin Deep is one of those rare titles although I remember that not because I had an immediate, deep connection with it (although the characters are also college freshman!) but because I remember getting a pop-up malware ad on the site and panicking quite throughly in my freshman dorm room (I think I went so far as to take the battery out of my laptop to make sure nothing was going in the background). Fortunately this didn't color my experience reading the comic or make me resentful, but I am glad that these days the majority of ads I see on webcomics are ads for other comics which are 100% less likely to give me malware.

Skin Deep by Kory Bing

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Anime Review: Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta

As a general explanation before I get into the reviews: Yozakura Quartet is based off of a manga by the same name and the manga is still on-going so this series does not have a hard and fast ending as I expected. The manga was adapted first into an anime in 2008 of the same name is apparently terrible and should be ignored, that one is the one that Sentai Filmworks has licensed in the US. Over the past few years Studio Tatsunoko has been making a few OVA series as well as another full anime series that adapts the story much more faithfully and is the one I'm talking about here, the main tv series Hana no Uta (Song of the Flowers), Hoshi no Umi (The Sea of Stars), and Tsuki ni Naku (Howling/Crying at the Moon). This is the order you should watch them in, I promise it's for the best but it can be a little hard to find Hoshi no Umi online these days since it's been a few years and none of these series were even licensed for streaming. Since there is no official license, I'm going to try and use the actual Japanese terms for the various supernatural aspects of the works instead of English terms the way I usually would for consistency. The subs I saw used "dæmon" instead of yokai and "Sakura Newtown" instead of "Sakurashin" but since everyone will at least hear those same words this seems to be the best way to avoid confusion!

Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: June 14th-20th Edition

Hey guys, it's been a pretty standard week over here (well blog wise, I have no idea what a "normal" real life week is like anymore) and it some mostly good, and some ugly so let's jump into that. For the mostly good I've got a review of Maria the Virgin Witch, the second season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a joint write-up on OASG of Donyatsu (which I really do need to read at least a bit more of, it's the kind of straight-up bizarreness but with rules that's so tough to pull off). And then for the ugly I have Helen of Sparta which I had hopes for and then just ended up being not my thing at all and I thought a cop-out for being yet another book about the mythical, Greek Helen that avoids the Trojan War. Presumably all of these authors have thought "well I don't want to make that [the war] the most important thing about her life, I want her to have agency!" which sounds all fine and dandy but it's like writing about a historical figure and cutting out literally the one thing they're known for, not your best move! I actually just finished another, YA this time, book set in Ancient Greece but I'm not sure I'll review that one either; I might have even read it before since I can't believe I found two, separate works on Alcestis with a weird, pseudo-lesbian relationship with Persephone...